The potential of the technology for seed treatment came out of the University’s participation in the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) programme, which supports university-business collaboration and looks at applications for technology in different industry sectors. It discovered a growing unmet need for sustainable seed treatments that delivered increased productivity and plant health.
To exploit this opportunity, Zayndu was formed in 2019, and Ralph Weir was brought in to head up the company as CEO and manage a bid to Innovate UK to develop a proof-of-concept.
The prototype proved successful and the company gained further funding of £1.1m in March 2021. It has secured the support of major seed companies in the industry and developed its first product, the Aurora Z10. It is now focussed on optimising the technology and the process, and on scaling up the machine to increase capacity.
Applications for the Aurora disinfection system
Aurora gets its name from the Aurora Borealis – the northern lights – a naturally occurring plasma created when an electric current moves through air.
The use of cold plasma is gaining interest as a low energy, low carbon technology to replace the use of fossil fuels and chemicals in many areas of agriculture. Zayndu’s Aurora system is at the forefront of the ‘Plasma Agriculture’ revolution.